How Do You Treat a Loose Tooth?
Unless you are a child, a loose tooth as an adult may be cause for concern. Regular dental checkups can help identify issues early, which can significantly impact the long-term outcome of your oral health.
While the cause of your loose tooth may be harmless, it can also signify a more profound issue or result from an injury. Proper brushing and flossing can help mitigate the risk of developing oral health issues that can cause teeth to loosen.
This article will discuss the causes of a loose tooth and some treatment options your dentist may suggest depending on the cause.
Causes Of A Loose Tooth
Various issues can cause a loose tooth; some may be preventable by proper oral hygiene.
Another name for gum disease is periodontitis, which can happen because of poor oral health habits. Inadequate brushing and flossing habits lead to plaque build-up, a sticky film of bacteria that hardens and becomes tartar. This causes the gums to pull away from your teeth, creating gaps and making your teeth become susceptible to infection and becoming loose. Other indicators of gum disease include
- Pain while chewing
- Poor tooth alignment
- Pockets between teeth and gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose or sensitive teeth
- Gums that bleed while brushing
Gum disease is responsible for about 70% of tooth loss and is experienced by about 40% of people. Consistent dental cleanings and regular visits to your dentist are essential because early detection of gum disease can prevent tooth loss.
Higher levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy may also affect your oral health, including the bones and tissues in your mouth. Oral health can significantly impact your pregnancy and is essential to prenatal care.
Also known as bruxism, tooth grinding, whether you unconsciously grind or clench your teeth at night or do it out of habit during the day, can damage your teeth and lead to other issues such as loose teeth, headaches, and facial pain.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the deterioration of the bones in your body to weaken and become porous. Osteoporosis commonly affects the hips, wrist, and spine; it can also affect the jaw bones supporting the teeth. When jaw bones lose density, teeth may become loose or even fall out.
Even if your teeth are healthy, injuries from falling or getting hit in your mouth can cause you to get a loose or cracked tooth or surrounding tissue that needs to be checked by your dentist.
Treatments For A Loose Tooth
Once you or your dentist discover a loose tooth, you can make a treatment plan to address the root cause. If you have or are in the beginning stages of gum disease, then your dentist may suggest some treatments.
- Scaling is a procedure that helps to remove tartar and bacteria that removes hardened plaque that has built up underneath your teeth and gums.
- Root planing helps to smooth the root surface and allows the gums reattach to the tooth.
- Flap surgery is a procedure when your dentist makes incisions in your gums and pulls back the gum tissue to perform scaling, and root planing procedure.
- Bone grafting helps address bone deterioration and can help rebuild bone loss caused by gum disease.
- Dental appliances such as bite splints can help reduce damage from grinding and may also help heal your mouth after dental surgery.
- Bite adjustment is a procedure that reshapes the biting surface of your tooth by removing small amounts of tooth enamel. This procedure will reduce the pressure on the tooth, allowing it to heal, and possibly a good option for a loose tooth that is caused by grinding.
If you have a loose tooth that needs to be removed or falls out, there are options your dentist may suggest when considering restorative options that include the following:
- Dental Bridge is a good option if you aren’t able to or don’t want to get a dental implant and consists of artificial teeth attached to a metal frame
- Dental Implant can replace a single tooth or if you are missing several teeth in different locations
- Dentures are available as complete or partial dentures and can be fixed or removable depending on your situation
Even though you can’t always prevent getting a loose tooth there are several things you can do to reduce the risk.
- Using proper brushing techniques
- Flossing correctly regularly
- Avoid smoking
- Getting regular dental cleanings and checkups
- Wear a properly fitting mouthguard when playing sports
- Wear a bite splint at night to reduce the effects of grinding and clenching
Maintaining your oral health is important and ensuring you have the support of an excellent dentist is essential.
We Are Here To Help
If you notice a loose tooth, Carrie Muzny D.D.S. in the Woodlands offers preventative, restorative, professional teeth whitening and cosmetic dentistry for the entire family. Our highly skilled team is compassionate and experienced in ensuring your smile is beautiful and helps you maintain excellent oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!